4 Things to Consider Before Beginning a Running Routine

By: Kalena Shoman


Having the chance to sit down with Tucson runner and 800m Mexican National Champion, James Eichberger, taught me a lot about the initial struggles that people face when starting a running routine. How do you know your body’s limits when beginning a new routine? Is there a wrong way to go about running? What are the risks a new runner can face? How you approach these questions can either make or break your running experience.


 

RBar Energy Athlete: James Eichberger - 800 Meter Mexican National Champion

 RBar Energy Athlete: James Eichberger - 800 Meter Mexican Nation Champion

 

Getting in the Groove:

Start off slow. Walking is the best way to condition your body to get used to the movement. Once you trust that you’re ready to run, keep a steady pace. Try not to overdo your first few weeks of activity. You can walk for five minutes, then jog for one and continue as desired.

Another way to overdo things is to run every single day, without giving yourself a rest day. Just like a machine, your body gets tired and can over work itself to the point of either straining and pulling muscles or even fracturing and breaking bones. A good pace to keep is two days on, one day off. This gives your body the time needed to rest, but doesn’t let your body lose its muscle memory.

 

Choosing the Right Shoes:

The type of  shoes you buy are extremely important, just as much as their condition. When looking for the proper running shoes, go to a running store. An educated sales person should be able to take a look at your feet and stride, then determine which type of shoes would benefit you. They should be looking for the movement of your arches and ankles. With this, they can give you several options,  but remember to follow your intuition. If they bring you a shoe, that for any reason is uncomfortable or hurts, don’t buy it. Listen to your body and go from there.

The condition of the shoe, is also just as important as the shoe itself. If they’re too old, you could face lack of vital support. However, just the same, if you’re shoes are too new you could end up straining your feet and ankles. In this instance, try wearing your new shoes around the house or to the grocery store a few time to break them in. Your body will greatly appreciate it.

 

When should you Stretch?

So, there are two main types of stretches: static and dynamic. Before going for your walk, you want to stay away from static stretching, which would be considered any stretch that you hold for a period of time. Dynamic stretches such as jumping jacks, knee highs and leg swings would all be a good options for pre-run stretching. Dynamic stretching awakens your muscles, getting your blood pumping and has a positive effect on your power, endurance and flexibility. Static stretching before a workout of any kind will leave your muscles feeling weak and unsteady, however it is suitable for post-run stretching, when muscles are loose and warm. This increases flexibility will positively impact future performances.

 

Post Running Regimen:

James mentioned that nowadays people are realizing the effects of continually pushing themselves and have taken the initiative to become more of a recovery driven culture. The harder and longer you walk, run or workout, the more time you need to give your body to heal itself. Outside of lounging around or taking warm baths, you can utilize self-rolling massage sticks to relieve the knots and nerves in your calves and upper legs. As for your feet, try rolling a tennis ball along the bottoms to alleviate pain and soreness. A benefit to the tennis ball tactic is that it’s self-controlled, which gives you the power to massage as you wish.

 

Getting the hang of running can be an adventure in itself. So, create a few playlists of your favorite inspirational music, get some comfortable running clothes, and let the sky be your limit. If you need an extra push, invite a friend or reach out to a current runner to help support you in your adventure. It can be as simple as adding a 30 minute run into your current routine, or you could possibly change your entire lifestyle. Make of it what you will; the possibilities are endless.

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RBar Energy - The Basics

By Brian Cornelius, Founder

RBar was started on a very simple idea - simple food can taste amazing.  If we don’t follow what the industry tells us has to be done and if new techniques are developed along the way, flavor does not need to be sacrificed -- even at scale.

Let me take you back to 2010.  At that time I was an elite cyclist based in Tucson, Arizona and traveling around the country to chase a dream: become a professional cyclist.  Unbeknownst to me, I would become a professional in something entirely different.  You see, while I had some impressive talent in cycling, I would always find a way to work too hard during the race and over and over again would find myself unable to compete in the final sprint.

Bike racing days on the California coast.

 

I like to work too hard.  But in business, this can be a good thing and it can create fantastic products.  So while I was riding around on two wheels I started packing dates, dried fruit and nuts in little baggies in my back pocket.  Inevitably, these would spill all over the road when I would take them out to eat them.  The solution was to toss them into a blender and wrap them in saran wrap.  And here was the first bar.

Now, what’s unique about RBar is that the basics of this concept - simple ingredients blended together, conveniently packaged and full of flavor—have never changed.  Sure, we’ve made unique improvements along the way, such as a special packaging line that keep our products fresher, longer, but the basic concept has never changed.  When we were told we would need to add syrups or grains or protein isolates, we always said no.  But saying no isn’t enough to define a mission. 

So, we decided on something a little more specific.  1) RBar will always design a product based on having exceptional flavor and not on the latest nutrition facts panel fad. 2) RBar will never produce a product with more than seven ingredients. We boil this down to:  Maximum flavor, minimal ingredients. 

Stay tuned for the next post on where our journey to produce the most amazing maximum flavor, minimal ingredient products has led us, and what it means for you!

The Date Your Body Deserves

Written by: RJ Miles

Palm trees are synonymous with paradise and relaxation. Corona beer has used this in their brilliant marketing campaign; with the beautiful serene beaches, a couple relaxing, and typically the symbolism of the palm tree, one can’t help but want to be on that same beach, beer in hand. While the trees certainly have aesthetic value, some species of palm trees provide us with an incredible superfood: the date. You may have noticed those brown clusters near the top of some of these trees, but many people don’t realize the health benefits that these little oblong beauties contain. Dates are a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, proteins, the vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and folate; and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, sulfur, cobalt, fluorine, manganese, and boron.

While the fruit is chock-full of nutrients, recent research shows that non-nutrients referred to as phytochemicals in the date may be the most beneficial to our health. Phytochemicals are bioactive plant derived chemicals which may provide several health benefits when included in the diet. Dates are rich in several classes of phytochemicals including:

Carotenoids: carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital to vision, and also acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are biological compounds that protect the cell from free radicals. Free radicals are basically atoms or molecular compounds in the body that have unpaired electrons; which makes the compound unstable. The free radicals are very damaging to the cells and/or tissues of the body. Free radicals have been linked to several diseases such as cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s, and parkinson’s disease. Antioxidants help protect against this by stabilizing the free radicals.

Phenolic Acids: These phytochemicals are considered to be very effective antioxidants. They act as free radical scavengers in the body. Research has also shown that phenolic acids have some anti-microbial properties, protecting the system from certain strains of bacteria.

Flavonoids: Flavonoids are also antioxidants, yet they also have anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, research in diabetic lab rats has shown that the flavonoids diosmetin 1 and diosmetin 2 can increase insulin excretion and stimulate the enzyme glycogen synthase. Essentially, the flavonoids found in dates help to maintain normal blood glucose levels. This is significant considering the prevalence of diabetes in the united states.


Thus, not only is the date palm nice to look at, it’s also looking out for your health. Adding the little powerhouse fruits that these trees provide to your diet could be beneficial to your overall health and well-being. What’s more? All Rbar products contain dates as the first ingredient! That’s what gives them that incredible sweet taste. So not only do Rbars help fuel your active lifestyle and help you #domore, they are also acting in many biochemical processes in the body to keep you healthy.


For more information on the date fruit research, check out the article below.

Al-Alawi, Reem A. et al. “Date Palm Tree (Phoenix Dactylifera L.): Natural Products and Therapeutic Options.” Frontiers in Plant Science 8 (2017): 845. PMC. Web. 21 Sept. 2017.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440559/

3 Reasons Why You NEED Fat In Your Diet

Written by: RJ Miles
Far too often there is an extremely negative connotation with the word “fat” when it comes to nutrition. Perhaps this is because the same word is used to describe the macronutrient we need daily, and the unsightly tissue that is stored when we gain weight. When people pick up a food item and inspect the nutrition facts label, they are put off by looking at the fat content and place the back on the shelf. The truth of the matter is that fat is one of the three macronutrients (with protein, and carbohydrates being the other two), which serves a variety of biological functions in the body. These functions include:


Insulation and Protection for the body:
Most of the fat found in foods and in the body, is in the form of triglycerides. Triglycerides are basically three fatty acid chains connected to a glycerol backbone. Just beneath the skin, there is an insulating layer of fat, composed primarily of triglycerides, referred to as subcutaneous fat. This insulating layer helps to keep the body temperature constant. In additional a visceral layer of fat is found around many organs. This aids in shock absorption for the organs and prevents the organs from moving around too much, which may result in injury.


Fat soluble vitamin absorption and distribution:
Vitamins serve a multitude of important functions to many biological processes in the body. Some vitamins are water soluble (meaning their chemical structure allows them to dissolve in water) and some are fat soluble. The vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble. Fats are necessary to carry these vitamins to the small intestine and aid in their absorption into the body. Fats also aid in the transportation of these vitamins throughout the body after they are absorbed.


Energy, Energy, and more Energy:
Of the three macronutrients, fats contain more than twice the amount of energy than proteins and carbohydrates. Fat packs a whopping 9 kilocalories per gram, while protein and carbs only contain 4 kilocalories per gram. Fat stored in the body is readily accessible to be used for energy in a process known as beta oxidation. Beta oxidation of a 16 carbon fatty acids yields 106 ATP, which is the energy “currency” of the cell. By contrast, cellular respiration, which uses glucose (from carbohydrates) yields only 32 ATP.  Fat is the main fuel source for most body cells, and is the primary energy for light to moderate activities like walking, yoga, hiking, etc., and at rest. Yes, that means that you are burning fat as an energy source while you’re reading this!


Too Good to be true? While fats are important in the diet, it is also important to distinguish between which types of fats you should be eating. Saturated fats and trans fats should be limited in the diet due to their negative impact on the cardiovascular system. Saturated fats are abundant in animal products (meats), whole milk and whole milk dairy products (butter, cheese), and in coconut and palm oils. Trans fat is used in many products to obtain a longer shelf life. Sources include fried foods, pastries, margarine, and most processed snack foods (cookies, chips, etc.). Dietary fat intake should be primarily composed of unsaturated fats. Nut, like those found in RBar's ingredients, are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat! These fats, along with the carbohydrates and protein found in the bars pack a solid energy punch.


So, whether you’re about to hit the trail, climb that mountain, or hit the gym, RBar can give you the nutrients you need to #Domore.

Beat the Heat - How to Stay Active During the Summer Heat

Written by: Annie McCabe

Tucson is known for its crazy hot summers! This is my first summer staying in Tucson; and
although I am worried about the heat, I do not plan on letting it stop me. Heat or no heat I vow to #DoMore! Instead of using the heat as an excuse to skip another workout, I plan to use these tips to keep up with my fitness goals. I hope you will do the same and #DoMore this summer.

Stay Hydrated



Hydrate throughout the day. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Do not wait until you are thirsty, by then you are already dehydrated. Strive to drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes of exercise. If working out outside be sure to plan a route that allows access to water or carry water with you. Be aware of signs of dehydration. These
include headaches, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, fatigue, confusion, and elevated body
temperature.

 

Dress to Impress


Invest in light-colored and breathable material instead of your cotton tee shirts. These synthetic micro-fiber materials will allow sweat to evaporate, cooling your body more efficiently.

Time Your Workouts

Set your alarm for early morning before the sun comes up to avoid the summer heat or plan a workout at sunset.

Hit the Pool

Try adding a pool workout into your workout schedule. This is a great way to accomplish aerobic exercise while keeping you cool. A bonus is reduced stress and pressure on your joints vs. other workout regiments. By adding pool workouts to your routine, not only will you stay cool and get a great workout, but you will also get some vitamin D! (But don’t forget the sunscreen)

Try a Fun Fitness Class

Taking a group fitness class is a fun way to stay in shape, beat the hit, and stay motivated! Check out your local gym’s fitness schedule and sign up for a Zumba, spin, yoga, or a strength training class. Enjoy a great workout while staying cool in the air conditioned gym.

Listen to your body

Do what is best for your body. Listen to what it is telling you and do not push yourself too hard. If you start feeling faint, dizzy, or dehydrated make sure to stop exercising and take necessary action.

Don’t let the summer heat stop you from chasing your goals. Tell us how you #DOMORE during the summer heat, in the comments below!

Stay Sweet by Eating the Right Kind of Sugar

Written by: Annie McCabe

As a Dietetics student, the topic of sugar has come to the table many times.  Sugar and its use is a controversial topic.  Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is converted by the body into glucose and then used for energy.  However, not all sugar is created equally.  It is important to learn about and identify the different types of sugar.   Then examine your diet and check ingredient labels for natural sugars and added sugars.


So, what is the difference between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar?  


Natural Sugars

Naturally occurring sugar is found in two forms, lactose which is found in milk and fructose, which is found in fruit.  Consuming natural sugars is crucial because they are found in whole foods, which are key from a nutritional standpoint.  Consuming whole foods provides you with nutrients such as Vitamin D, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber.  These nutrients are hard to find in foods with added sugars.  


Added Sugars

Added sugar is sugar removed from their original source and added to food and drink.  It can be added for many reasons including flavor, fermentation, and to avoid spoilage.  It is important to note that natural sugars, such as fructose can be used as an added sugar.  For example, the sugar you add to your coffee is also added sugar.  Food manufacturers are not mandated to separate naturally occurring sugars and added sugars on a food label.  However, by knowing what to look for on an ingredient list you can reduce your added sugar intake.  Doing so helps with overall health and wellbeing.  Keep an eye out for words such as, but not limited to, agave syrup, cane syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, molasses, and fruit juice concentrates.  


Why this matters?

The body metabolizes natural sugar differently than it processes added sugar.  Added sugar is broken down rapidly causing a spike in both insulin and blood sugar levels. Natural sugars, which contain fiber, slows down metabolism thereby decreasing the spike in insulin and blood sugar levels and leading to a full feeling.


Next time you’re out at the grocery store, #DoMore , and look at food labels.  Familiarize yourself with the different names for added sugars and work on taking baby steps to decreasing your added sugar intake.  

What does it mean to #DOMORE? from #TeamRBar Climber Tanner Mack

What does it mean to #DOMORE?

A question that has so many answers, some simple and some not. It seems I find myself asking this question a lot.

What does it mean to #DOMORE? It can mean waking up sore and tired but putting on your shoes and going for a run. After that going to school for hours, then going to the gym for 3 or 4 hours. Pushing yourself to a limit that is impossible. Breaking down day after day, only to wake up and do it again. That’s just the simple answer.

Wanting to #DOMORE is so much more than that. Every morning I wake up, I feel like I will never be good enough. I will never accomplish my goals, I will never amount to anything, all of my hard work is for nothing. Pushing through that is a daily war that wages within myself. Every day I fight and expect something better of myself because if I don’t, then the little voice telling me I can’t, won.

That’s what it means #DOMORE. Everyday you fight, not just the pain and the fatigue, but that little voice. Inspire others with your hard work and effort. That little voice may never stop saying you are worthless, but waking up and putting in the effort is one step closer to quieting it.

What does it mean for you to #DOMORE?